Planning Guide for Staff - University of Houston
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If the University determines that the campus is closed, and all University business will be conducted via Telecommuting. There are some easy steps to take some of the stress out of working from off campus. There is a community of support from your local IT support and University Information Technology (UIT). Bookmark the UIT GetHelp page for quick access to all the ways to reach IT Support.

The IT Support Center (helpdesk) will remain open to support you even from off campus. The helpdesk will be answering phones, text messages, email, and responding to social media.

  1. The quickest and easiest way to get help is to call or text message the helpdesk at 713-743-1411.
  2. You can also get real time support through chat or you can send an email to and we'll get back to you ASAP.
  3. Follow UIT on social media for tips and hints to be successful and to see if there are any service disruptions that might interrupt classes.
  4. Latest information and the current status of all IT services including Canvas and Microsoft Office 365.

Prepare Now by Doing the Following:

  1. Go to AccessUH and log in with your CougarNet ID and password. AccessUH will tell you when your password will expire. If you can't log in or if your password is expiring in the near future go to the Password Reset Wizard and reset your password.
  2. In AccessUH, click on the PASS icon () and update your contact information. The University may be sending you regular updates or instructions and you will need to make sure that we have the most current contact information.
  3. In AccessUH, click on the Microsoft 365 icon () to get access to the online version of Microsoft Office and get your free copies of Microsoft products or you can use the web version of the Microsoft suite if you have an internet connection.
  4. You will need to access any resources that are only available from on campus like retrieving files on campus servers or logging into a remote computer. If so, you will need to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  5. If your Office install did not include Skype for Business, see bullet point three and install Skype for Business on your PC/MAC. For smartphone or tablets on your iOS or Android devices, go to your app store and download the mobile app or transfer your work number to your personal phone (forward to Houston numbers only). More information on transferring your number, logging into the Skype for Business mobile app, can be found in the Skype section of this website.

If you call 911 for emergency service from Skype the first responders will be dispatched to UH. Always use your cell phone or home phone to call 911 from off campus.

  1. Answering departmental numbers from home, if you are signed into your Skype for Business client, you will receive calls to the departmental numbers. Make sure you also have access to the voicemails through email. You should already have delegate access to both the calls and voicemail. If not, please contact your local IT support to set it up.
  2. Convert all your face to face meeting Skype for Business online meetings. Simply update the meeting invite and select the Skype Meeting button. It will populate the meeting URL with the online URL and the telephone number to call into, change location to Skype online and send the updated meeting invite.
  3. If you need headsets or speakerphones, look at the catalog of devices you can purchase. These devices will also work with other applications such as MS Teams and Zoom.
  4. OneDrive is a great tool to sync your desktop user folder to the MS cloud to access data anywhere you have internet access and a browser. Download and install the OneDrive application and start syncing your desktop files with OneDrive. This will provide redundancy in case you run into issues listed in the next bullet point.
  5. When working off campus be sure to keep your data secure and your computer safe. Getting hacked, losing your computer, or being locked out by Malware will set you back a long way. Take these steps to make sure you're secure:
    1. Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software frequently.
    2. Run a full scan on your computer once a week to detect any problems.
    3. Report any suspicious activity on your computer to
    4. Avoid giving others physical access to UH equipment.
    5. Don't leave sensitive information unattended.
    6. Logout before you walk away from your computer.

Remember, you still have support even when the campus is closed.